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Asian equity markets are higher today as Japanese and Hong Kong shares show gains. The Nikkei 225 is up 1.22% while the Hang Seng is up 1.27%. The Shanghai Composite is trading up by 0.29%. Stock markets in the US ended their previous session on a positive note.
Meanwhile, share markets in India have opened the trading day on a flattish note. The BSE Sensex is trading higher by 36 points while the NSE Nifty is trading lower by 2 points. The BSE Mid Cap index and BSE Small Cap index both have opened the day flat.
Sectoral indices have opened the day on a mixed note with automobile stocks and realty stocks trading in red. While, information technology and FMCG stocks are among the top gainers on the BSE. The rupee is trading at 66.94 to the US$.
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Automobile stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Ashok Leyland and Escorts being the leading gainers in this space. According to an article in a leading financial daily, Tata Motors share price plunged by 7% as the company announced its financial results for the quarter ended 31 December 2016 yesterday.
Tata Motors reported a 96.2% decline in consolidated net profit to Rs 1.1 billion for the December quarter, dragged down by losses in domestic operations and lower profit of its British arm Jauguar Land Rover (JLR). It had posted net profit of Rs 29.5 billion in the same quarter of last fiscal.
The company's consolidated sales during the October-December quarter were down 2.2% at Rs 678.6 billion against Rs. 694 billion in the year-ago period.
On a standalone basis, Tata Motors' losses after tax widened to Rs. 10.5 billion in the third quarter of 2016-17 from Rs 1.4 billiona year ago.
Domestic performance remained muted as commercial volumes hit by demonetisation. Domestic total volume growth slowed down to 5.3% YoY at 1.15 lakh units, commercial vehicle volumes down 3.3% at 75,705 units and passenger vehicle volumes up 27.2% at 39,874 units.
Moving on to the news from stocks in oil & gas sector. As per an article in a leading financial daily, Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL) has awarded contract for pipeline-laying work for the 105-km Perole-Kodalamuguru-Mangaluru section to transport natural gas from Kochi in Kerala.
With this, the project will progress simultaneously from both ends, Kochi and Mangaluru. GAIL is targeting to complete the 440-km pipeline by December 2018 thereby bringing succour to industries and other users of natural gas in the region.
One must note that, the work on the 91-km Kochi-Koottanad section, which was awarded in September 2016, would serve as a green energy corridor and enable city gas distribution companies and gas-based industries to come up in the state. As a result, environment-friendly piped natural gas and compressed natural gas (CNG) would be supplied to households and vehicles.
Further, the primary objective of the project is to supply LNG from Petronet LNG's plant at Puthuvype near Kochi to industries in south India.
In the meanwhile, it was reported that, Petronet LNG Ltd has bought a 26% stake in the shipping consortium that built its biggest LNG ship to transport gas form from Australia.
Notably, Petronet had in 2013 contracted Shipping Corp of India (SCI) and its Japanese partners to build and operate a 173,000 cubic meters' capacity LNG ship. Total consideration of the deal is about US$ 15 million.
In December, the vessel was fixed on a 19-year charter contract to Petronet. It is the fourth LNG vessel Petronet has chartered from the consortium. The previous three have all been deployed for carrying LNG from Qatar.
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